Personal Essay

Diane, a story for Christmas

Thu, 12/24/2020 - 5:30pm

This is a story plain and simple about a woman on an island out at sea.

Her name is Diane and that alone explains who she is, nothing more. If you live on this island you would know Diane. She is seemingly around the inner town on any given day when she isn’t working. Her work is helping to keep people company that are unable to be by themselves, a companion, a watchdog, a caregiver and able to make a sad face smile.

You see, Diane never has a bad day, never complains about anything, is up and bright on the worst days and times. What is so interesting is that she would appear to have nothing, and want nothing but a few possessions. That may not be true but that is what she portrays. Her wealth may be far more than what any of us possess one way or the other.

I have known Diane for many years having to hire her services for an elderly island man whose wife had died and he was a lost soul if not for Diane able to take over for me. The last two years of his life were some of his best because of Diane. We all try to maintain a household for the elderly in our family, but it eventually becomes too much. That “too much” is not part of Diane’s credentials. She can give her clients happiness and a sense of hope when it seems unobtainable.

Diane is not a young woman, nor is she an old woman, but somewhere in between. You will see her walking, but not on a windy day. She dresses very well and colorfully, with plenty of fine jewelry. Diane doesn’t drive, nor does she want to. Fortunately she lives in a great house with a four-poster bed looking out over the water. That’s a result of a previous gig at this same house for an elderly relative. She still lives there and watches the house all winter for the gracious owner. I tried to promote Diane to an old friend in need of a daytime companion, but he refused saying she had a bad track record: they all died. Sure they did, because she stays to the end.

I just delivered a Christmas package to Diane. What did she want? Well, a small container of Cranberry Chicken Salad — I got her a big one — and a dozen eggs, I bought two chocolate cupcakes but she settled for a chocolate cake, and some grapes and oranges. She was throwing money at me as I exclaimed, “It’s Christmas and snowing out!”

We will take her out for dinner, as usual. Always keep an eye open for Diane, whose every day is Christmas.